New research investment to shape future aircraft

Renishaw is contributing its additive manufacturing expertise to a new GBP 17.7M project, being led by Airbus in the UK, to develop an innovative way of designing and manufacturing aircraft wings, which will encourage a “right first time approach” and reduce development time.

The project, called Wing Design Methodology Validation – or WINDY – has been made possible thanks to joint industry and UK government investment from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). It was one of a number of projects announced by BEIS during the Farnborough International Airshow. “Aircraft wing design is a hugely complicated process and this project will look at ways we can increase the robustness of the design and test process while also reducing the time this takes,” said Airbus Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams. “Developing state-of-the-art technology will be at the heart of achieving these improvements and this investment is vital for that.”

WINDY will look at aerodynamic modelling of wings, the potential for use of complex 3D-printed components in wing structures and the possibility of innovative loads control on aircraft for better efficiency in flight.